Government of Canada grants $3 million to Roseburg Forest Products for robotic equipment installation in Ontario
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Government of Canada grants $3 million to Roseburg Forest Products for robotic equipment installation in Ontario

Aug 09, 2023

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Image: Pembroke MDF plant / Roseburg Forest Products

Roseburg Forest Products has received a substantial funding of $3 million to install robotic equipment at its medium-density fibreboard (MDF) plant, providing a significant boost to Canada's forest sector. The funding, announced by Member of Parliament Anita Vandenbeld on behalf of Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson, comes from the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program.

The $1.5 million investment from IFIT aims to enhance Roseburg Forest Products Canada's MDF plant by adopting innovative technologies and promoting low-carbon projects, thereby increasing competitiveness in the forest sector. In addition to IFIT's contribution, the company has also received $1.5 million from Ontario's Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program, highlighting the government's commitment to supporting sustainability initiatives in the forestry industry.

The integration of robotic systems at the MDF plant is expected to have a significant impact on production capacity. The project involves the installation and operation of two MDF moulding lines, accompanied by advanced robotic stacking, packaging, and labelling stations. These technological advancements will not only improve efficiency and safety but also create specialized job opportunities, including roles as robot operators for 18 individuals.

The investment aims to reduce Canada's reliance on foreign MDF producers while stimulating economic activity and job security in rural Ontario. By utilizing local facility byproducts in the manufacturing process, Roseburg Forest Products Canada demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and circular economy practices.

Furthermore, the project aligns with the overarching objective of combating climate change. The anticipated improvement in efficiency is projected to lower energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. The combined investments from IFIT and Ontario's Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program play a crucial role in driving the growth of clean technologies and low-carbon solutions within Canada's forest sector, contributing to both economic prosperity and environmental well-being.

The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program acts as a bridge between development and commercialization by supporting transformative technologies and products.

Minister Jonathan Wilkinson emphasizes the federal government's dedication to supporting the forest sector and creating sustainable jobs. He states, "By investing in the Roseburg Forest Products facility in Pembroke, we are ensuring that local communities continue to reap the benefits of the sustainable use of Canada's forest resources."

Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Graydon Smith, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing that the investment will strengthen operations and ensure the long-term sustainability of Ontario's forest sector.

Expressing appreciation for the support, Alexandre Ouellette, Pembroke MDF Plant Manager at Roseburg Forest Products, highlights the positive impact of automation with robotics. He emphasizes the expansion of shifts, creating a safer, more efficient, and modern work environment for the team members.

Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products acquired Pembroke’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) and molding production facilities in 2018. This acquisition was Roseburg’s first international purchase.

Image:Roseburg Forest Products